RadioProfile | Fire in the Avianca building: 50 years since the tragedy in Bogotá


On July 23, 1973, the Avianca building, the Bogotá skyscraper, caught fire, necessarily killing four and injuring 63.

Located in Parque Santander in the Colombian capital, its distinguished building structure burned due to two versions that are still in conflict:

One, that the fire originated in an office because of a spark that fell into a ream of paper.

While the other version maintains that it was a discovery in the cellars of the building that contained flammable material.

The building, which was reputed to be the tallest skyscraper in South America in 1973, was inaugurated in Bogotá in 1969.

The fire It devastated several levels of the then imposing 42-story tower.

Around 8 in the morning on July 23, 1973, journalists from Bogotá reported a large cloud of smoke next to the Avianca building.

They even highlighted that there were amazed people at the windows asking for help.

The flames increased their ardor from the 13th floor and the situation became almost uncontrollable for the occupants of the building who began the day in the heart of Bogotá.

In this way, one of the main tragedies in the history of the Colombian capital began.

After 14 hours of fighting the fire, the firefighters determined that 27 floors had been destroyed by the flames, which were seen from different angles of the Colombian capital.

They also confirmed that important public and private documents had been pulverized in the tragedy of the tallest building in Bogotá.

The most surprising fact was that four people, trapped by the fire, threw themselves from different floors. The path of the people in free fall was observed by police, firefighters and citizens who were in the street.

The rescue of the other occupants of the building was carried out from the roof of the building, where three helicopters saved the lives of many people. Alarmed by a possible explosion inside the structure, all were rescued around noon.

With a lot of effort and intuition, Colombian firefighters can carry out their task, despite their inexperience in fires in skyscrapers.

Despite the flames, the general structure of the building did not suffer major damage, and it is still standing today in the main city of Colombia.

On July 23, 1973, the Avianca building, the Bogotá skyscraper, caught fire, necessarily killing four and injuring 63.

The story is also news. RadioProfile. Script by Andrés Ruíz and locution by Pita Fortín.

by Radio Profile

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